I had a friend in seminary who would open every bag of chips, cookies, or other supermarket snack with a sniff and a taste, and then make one of two declarations each time: “Ooh, it’s fresh,” or “Eh, it isn’t fresh.”
And I would look at her and say, “Seriously? It’s generic-brand potato chips, what were you expecting?” The freshness of Israeli tea biscuits or lack thereof is not something I’m pining for or even thinking about when I taste a commercially packaged and highly processed food. To me, it’s been years since that potato chip even saw a potato.
Each time we had this conversation, my friend would back herself up and explain the culture in her family. In her house, freshness of all food was super-important; when foods were made fresh or enjoyed at the right moment of ripeness, it was discussed and appreciated. Her family was so tuned in that the awareness crept its way into store-bought packaged foods as well — which can, incidentally, sometimes be a lot fresher than the packages sitting next to them on the shelf.
For my part, I’d rather not be tuned in; I’d kind of rather not notice. Because if I’m not noticing, I can care a little bit less. I can live without the distraction of whether the tea biscuits are fresh or not. Less of a focus on little nuances in food and on the way things taste can translate into a focus on the reason why we’re eating, and the fact that food is simply fuel to get us through our day.
This approach applies perfectly to the food we partake of before Tishah B’Av. We’re eating simply to stock up on sustenance so that we can get through the next 24-plus hours without being distracted by meals or by the freshness of food.
Wishing you a meaningful fast,
Food Editor, Family Table
Editor in Chief, Kosher.com
Spinach Eggplant Artichoke Dip
- 1 eggplant, diced
- 2–3 Gourmet Farms Yarden Frozen Artichoke Bottoms, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 pinches pepper
- 1 pinch cumin
- 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp raw tahini
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 heaping Tbsp sautéed onions
Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
Place diced eggplant on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 30–40 minutes until soft and golden. Add artichoke hearts to the baking sheet during the last 10 minutes. Allow to cool. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.
Mayo Makes It Better
Try adding a spoonful of mayo to your beaten eggs before you scramble them for a very creamy result.
(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 852)
Oops! We could not locate your form.